Scottish Winter Mountain Courses

Winter hillwalking, mountaineering and climbing in Scotland, and in particular on Ben Nevis, is world famous. We offer courses for everyone, whether you are just starting out or have years of experience under your belt.

Scotland is renown for its challenging conditions, which we are grateful for as they are essential to build up the ice and rime which makes winter climbing here so unique. Winter mountaineering, ice climbing and hillwalking activities are invariably affected by the weather and the current snow and ice conditions. To enjoy this challenging environment it is just as important to develop your skills and understand the hazards as it is to experience your dream route or develop your climbing technique.

All of our guides and instructors that work on our Scottish winter courses have excellent local knowledge accumulated over many years of personal winter walking and climbing. They are able to ensure that the most is made of every day in the mountains meaning anyone attending with us will gain useful insights on how to plan your day and get the best out of it, even during the most challenging weather.


Customer Reviews

  • Dan C Avatar

    5 star rating Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis I had a wonderful experience climbing Tower Ridge with the expert guiding service provided by West Coast Mountain Guides. Ken is a skilled, competent and safe guide. He expertly navigated the route in challenging conditions. The booking process was seamless and Ken was very responsive to my many questions. West Coast Mountain Guides will be my guide service of choice for my next adventure into... read more

    Dan C 08 Mar 2019
    Al_Stel77 Avatar

    5 star rating Another excellent weekend in the mountains! Went out with Ken for three days in February, fourth year in a row for me and a couple of mates! It’s always a pleasure and an adventure. Whatever the conditions, I trust Ken to find us an exciting day out pitched to satisfyingly challenge our ability level, whilst keeping us safe in what can be very changeable conditions. Whatever your experience level, I’ve no doubt you will have an... read more

    Al_Stel77 07 Mar 2019
    Naveen K Avatar

    5 star rating Climbing Ben Nevis I’m an American who came to Scotland to tackle the biggest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis. After sorting through many online reviews from the various guide companies West Coast Mountain Guides had far superior reviews and a lot of praise for the guides. I gave them a call months out and made my objectives clear of what I had wanted to accomplish. Ken was my guide and he picked... read more

    Naveen K 07 Mar 2019
  • Josh S Avatar

    5 star rating Another Great Experience Having had a brilliant time with West Coast Mountain Guides last season, I decided to book another 5-day course to continue improving my winter skills. Just as expected, my communications with Ken were rapid, clear and very helpful. While the conditions left something to be desired (warmest February day on record I was told) our guide Tim expertly adapted the plan and course each day to suit the... read more

    Josh S 06 Mar 2019
    MichaelH2190 Avatar

    5 star rating Private Guiding - Winter Climbing A huge thanks to Ken for a fantastic private guided day out on the Crypt Route on Bidean nam Bian.
    With super lean conditions, the options were greatly reduced, however, Ken managed to plan an excellent day on a fantastic route high up on Church Door Buttress, which was just above the snowline. The longer approach was certainly worth the reward.
    The great aspect of guided trips for me is being...
    read more

    MichaelH2190 05 Mar 2019
    srn1973 Avatar

    5 star rating Tower Ridge in February. My first ascent of the north face of Ben Nevis via tower ridge. I was hoping for more wintery conditions but the weather we had was amazing. Not a cloud in the sky and on occasions hot! Ken is an excellent guide and made the whole experience a fantastic day. I would not hesitate to use West Coast Mountain Guides again and cannot recommend them enough to anyone who is... read more

    srn1973 03 Mar 2019
  • 299Robert Avatar

    5 star rating Excellent winter skills instructor I thought the course was very well organised and delivered. I was particularly impressed that Stuart came in to the hostel the night before to give us a briefing, check kit, etc. The course content was well-structured and flowed well, allowing us to build skills rather than try to make sense of a series of disjointed instructions. In fact, Stuart was so good at inspiring confidence that I was convinced... read more

    299Robert 02 Mar 2019
    laurmk Avatar

    5 star rating Great experience My whole experience with at West Coast Mountain Guides was great, from enquiring and booking to going out on the trip. The staff was very knowledgeable, friendly, and prompt to answer all my questions. We had never been to Scotland and weren’t sure which route would be best for our experience and goals but the staff were great with suggestions. When the day came, conditions weren’t nearly as expected so... read more

    laurmk 02 Mar 2019
    andrewfrombarra Avatar

    5 star rating Winter climbing week 11th Feb Fantastic time! Would highly recommend these folks to anyone looking to get into winter climbing or anything outdoors or improve on the skills you already have! Even though the conditions weren’t great, a lack of snow and ice due to an unseasonable warm snap, I still had a fantastic time. Any guide can lead a group in perfect conditions, but it really shows the experience and skill to be able... read more

    andrewfrombarra 27 Feb 2019
  • Andrew G Avatar

    5 star rating Professional, fun, best in class! I had an amazing trip with West Coast last weekend. The lack of snow really wasn’t a big problem (well, it would have been nice if it snowed rather than rained Saturday!) but Caspar was an absolute star putting up with some very Scottish weather Saturday but taking me on an amazing route on the Sunday (Tower Ridge which was just breath-taking). No end of patience, a perfect balance of... read more

    Andrew G 27 Feb 2019
    Claire C Avatar

    5 star rating Wonderful guides for Ben Nevis in winter! A group of 6 of us climbed Ben Nevis in Feb to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and we had a wonderful experience with West Coast Mountain Guides! Ken was really communicative and helpful throughout and our guide Lucy was in touch before hand to make sure everyone was well equipped and knew what to expect and she made sure we all had a great day! Couldn’t recommend... read more

    Claire C 27 Feb 2019
    armountain Avatar

    5 star rating Tower ridge winter I had an absolutely brilliant time, Dave was superb, obviously conditions were not ideal but we made the best of what they were and had an excellent day. Thank you for all of your help and I can not praise dave highly enough. I will definitely book again for next year and would like to work with dave again, he was very professional, informative and sociable. Thanks again for the... read more

    armountain 26 Feb 2019